North American Studies Programme
The North American Studies Programme at St Antony's College was launched in 2011 as an initiative that seeks to examine the common problems and issues that transcend national boundaries in North America, the interrelationships among North American states and societies, and the relationship of the region to the wider world. Defining North America as the territory from the Arctic to the Isthmus of Panama and including the islands of the Caribbean, the Programme aims to study the continent in a way that is integrated and cohesive, crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing new insights into the similarities and differences that characterise the region.
An inaugural North American Studies Seminar Series was held in 2011-2012, and details of a new series of events taking place during Trinity Term 2013 are available here. These sessions examine a range of topics and issues relevant to North America in order to highlight the potential usefulness of studying the continent as a region that is bound together by geographic, political, cultural, and economic links and by a set of shared challenges and concerns. All are welcome to attend these presentations.
In March 2013, the North American Studies Programme hosted an international conference to examine the political economy of social policy in North America, asking to what extent the region is currently witnessing a process of convergence towards universalism in the provision of social services. At this gathering, the first of its kind organised by the Programme, a distinguished group of experts in the field of social policy examined the historical development and recent trends in the evolution of the region’s welfare states. In particular, the aim of the conference was to contribute to a well-informed discussion on the political economy of welfare regimes in North America by a) exploring welfare models in historical and comparative perspective, and b) by examining the political and institutional dynamics of recent developments in North America’s social policies.
The North American Studies Programme is proud to have been a co-sponsor of the 2013 Dahrendorf Colloquium at St Antony's College, held from 3-5 May, which examined the challenges of "Combining Freedom and Diversity: Lessons from Experience in Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and the United States." The conference explored and compared how major North American and European democracies have addressed the difficulty of incorporating immigrant and minority groups into their national political, social, and economic life. A report on conclusions from the conference that will be relevant for policymakers is to be released in the coming months. For more information, please visit the conference webpage.
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